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Re: [ontolog-forum] Person, Boy, Man

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Hans Polzer" <hpolzer@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 15:06:41 -0500
Message-id: <01cf01cf2764$c8498cf0$58dca6d0$@verizon.net>



I actually think this is a good example of the issue of context and scope of applicability of an ontology. If the spatio-temporal evolution of a person over time is an important purpose of the ontology, then I think Matthew’s approach is probably a better choice, or at least a viable alternative. In everyday language (and most DBMS data models) we usually think about the entities we are describing as snapshots in time, i.e., the present, and not as things that change over decades (although we do in some specific contexts), so your approach works in most such contexts.


Hans Polzer


From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John McClure
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 2:48 PM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: [ontolog-forum] Person, Boy, Man


Take a Person for example, with subclasses Boy and Man. [MW>] The main problem with this is that Boy and Man are not subtypes of person. For Boy and Man to be subtypes of Person, each Boy is a Person, and each Man is a (different) Person. What would be correct is that Boy and Man a subtypes of StateOfPerson, and that each StateOfPerson is a temporalPart of a Person.

To most people, and dictionaries, Boy and Man are subtypes of Person. Second, should a KB contain both a Boy & Man resource about a given individual, owl:sameAs would be used to indicate their equivalence otherwise, yes, they would be a different person, as they should be. Third, StateofPerson is a wholly artificial term, lacking both practical merit and semantic credibility. Fourth, this is a fine example of ontologists' implicit saintliness modelling 'concepts' not 'language'.

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